One thing that has continually bothered me since we brought it up in class is the dilemma of the white supervisor versus the dilemma of the black supervisor. I don't remember how exactly it came up in class, but the example itself goes something like this:
Is it racist for a black supervisor to reject a white applicant for a job in an otherwise all-black office on the basis of possible interruption in office efficency?
Is it also racist for a white supervisor to reject a black applicant for a job in an otherwise all-white office on that same basis?
The argument presented in class was one of historical background. It was racist for the white supervisor, but not for the black supervisor.
My argument goes a step further to say that they are both racist. They are so simply because they are dealing with issues that are not directly concerned with the applicant's qualifications. This has some interesting ramifications for affirmative action, but I think that can be argued away as a necessary plan in order to facilitate change. As it stands now, I think the affirmative action does more harm than good (perhaps a bit of bias here as asians are discriminated against by affirmative action even more than white people) Yes, I understand that we cannot erase history. Yes, I understand that the white man is historically an oppressor. As cliche as this phrase is, you're "preaching to the choir." But I've been reviewing MLK Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech, and this stood out:
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
My point is, as MLK Jr more eloquently stated, is that history is history. What we have the potential to change is the future. A heavy-handed end to my post, perhaps, but in light of recent events (Obama's election), perhaps heavy-handedness is the key.